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Her pen made the first move

Ruth Bernard Yeazell, 7 July 1994

Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Chatto, 418 pp., £17.99, March 1994, 9780701161378
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Shared Lives 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Vintage, 285 pp., £6.99, March 1994, 0 09 942461 4
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The Sickroom in Victorian Fiction: The Art of Being Ill 
by Miriam Bailin.
Cambridge, 169 pp., £30, April 1994, 0 521 44526 4
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... own was beyond her.’ Even in death Gordon’s Brontë is more robust. For novelists themselves, Miriam Bailin reminds us, the very uncertainty of 19th-century diagnoses left illness all the more available for imaginative uses. Though ‘there is scarcely a Victorian fictional narrative without its ailing protagonist,’ her shrewd and economical book ...

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